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  • #139691
    Andy
    Participant

    So, for anyone wondering about the practice of swordsmanship and how the skills learned by its study apply to ones over all martial development even though we don’t use swords anymore should read this article:

    http://www.thearma.org/essays/Longsword_Centrality_in_RMA.htm

    Additionally this view is not unique to the Western Martial arts. 

    “In this path, someone who has learned to wield the long sword is customarily called a martial artist in our society. In the profession of martial arts, one who can shoot a bow well is called an archer, while one who has learned to use a gun is called a gunner. One who has learned to use a spear is called a lancer, while one who has learned to use a halberd is called a halberdier. If we followed this pattern, one who has learned the way of the sword would be called a longswordsman and a sidearmsman. Since the bow, the gun, the spear, and the halberd are all tools of warriors, all of them are avenues of martial arts. Nevertheless, it is logical to speak of martial arts in specific reference to the long sword. Because society and individuals are both ordered by way of the powers of the long sword, therefore the long sword is the origin of martial arts.”

    -Miyamoto Musashi’s book of five rings

    #153866
    jdmcowan
    Participant

    Interestingly, recent scholarship in budo suggests that the sword (it would have been a tachi at the time) was NEVER the main weapon used on the battlefield.  Every samurai had another weapon (or more) that was his main weapon.  For many it was the bow, but a spear or naginata or other weapon with long reach was acceptable for a samurai.  The sword was more a status symbol and a back up weapon.  It was not until relative peace came to the land that samurai started focusing on their swords as an ideal training tool.  But once the battles stopped, kenjutsu became the de rigueur martial art for improving yourself.  The katana replaced the tachi and armorless duels became the most common kind of fight.  There was a period of romanticization of the sword that gave birth to all the common myths we hear about the katana.  But even so, I agree with this modern author and those Edo period Japanese that the sword makes an ideal basis for learning the basics needed for all other martial arts.

    #153902
    inari
    Participant

    From my small experience with swords, I would agree that a hand-and-a-half sword such as the longsword is an excellent way to learn martial arts. I personally would prefer a Chinese style blade over a western one, but that is mostly ascetics….practically speaking a double-edged blade that is suitable for one or two hand use is the same whichever side of the continent you look at (I’d probably get flamed if I said that on Sword Forum hehe).

    If I was to compare, say, the footwork for Tai Chi sword to that in kendo then I would say that if Western footwork is similar then it is more practical in terms of translation to other martial arts. While I enjoy kendo very much, I do not think it is the superior sword art.

    #153920
    Mindas Arran
    Participant
    Quote:
    practically speaking a double-edged blade that is suitable for one or two hand use is the same whichever side of the continent you look at (I’d probably get flamed if I said that on Sword Forum hehe).

    A blade with a handle is still just a blade with a handle.  ;D

    #153931
    inari
    Participant
    Quote:
    A blade with a handle is still just a blade with a handle.

    Well, yes and no. Length of the handle is still an issue (too long, too short etc).

    #153932
    Mindas Arran
    Participant
    Quote:
    Well, yes and no. Length of the handle is still an issue (too long, too short etc).

    I was trying to back you up. Now you’re incriminating yourself. :p

    #153933
    Andy
    Participant

    LOL

    so what your saying is that swords do handle differently? They arn’t just sharp crowbars?

    #154114
    Syris
    Participant

    Yes swords definately handle differently! It really depends on the philosophy of the swords accompanying art. Katana are two handed swords. They add power to the end of the blade by a synergistic blend of push and pull, utilizing both hands.

    However this can be a disadvantage because then you are limited to the sword. You cant punch while cutting, nor kick because you are way out of range to do so. I love the aesthetics and philosophy behind the Japanese sword. I begin training in that art soon.

    However I prefer Kali for it’s practicality. The angles of attack are sporadic and you can punch and kick, perform take downs, all while slicing the guy to ribbons. Many people believe that Kali is a stick fighting art but it is’nt. The sticks were just training implements. Something you could actually spar with without killing your partner. The body mechanics developed by training in Kali carry over to your empty hands training too, making you faster and more powerful.

    I love all martial arts! However, they all have good points and bad. The art is not what makes the man/woman a good warrior, nor is it the weopen. It is the spirit and willingness to fight for your convictions to the death, and fight for the right reasons. It is your heart, and willingness to perservere. :rebel-Syris

    #154124
    Mindas Arran
    Participant
    Quote:
    However this can be a disadvantage because then you are limited to the sword. You cant punch while cutting, nor kick because you are way out of range to do so.

    We’ve got videos from more than one Gathering that has both of those aspects demonstrated in free sparring. Any limitations in combat are the fault of the individual combatants not the weapons.

    #154133
    Syris
    Participant

    Mindas Aran, I agree to a point. However, a katana is a two handed weapon, a Kris sword is a single handed weapon. If a student of the katana goes out of his way to learn to adapt to circumstances outside of what is taught in his art, he is a smart man/woman. However, most students of any martial art do not have that initiative!

    We as Jedi know the importance of seeking the truth outside of tradition and inside of ourselves. Others do not. The warrior arts are meant to change with the times in order to remain effective, but they rarely do. It is always the man who is more important than any established art or system.

    I have been studying martial art since the age of seven and I am 28. The arts have not made me a warrior, my spirit has, my heart and ability to get back up after a beating. I endured failure to breed success.

    I am now a student of the Japanese sword, and I see the disadvantages of the “system.” That is not an assumption that every warrior who studies that “system” is at a dissadvantage. I for instance am not one of them because I seek the truth from my own experience and I don’t look outside of myself for answers. – May the force be with you- :rebel-Syris

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